HIBBING — When the Labor Day Shootout begins at 6 p.m., Saturday at the Hibbing Raceway, all racing spectators will notice a big difference in the show.
The Modifieds and Late Models will run two full shows both Saturday and Sunday, but the change occurs with the Midwest Modifieds, Super Stocks, Pure Stocks and Hornets.
Those four classes will run their heat races on Saturday, then on Sunday, they will conclude their shows with the consolation heats and finals.
There’s a good reason for the change.
“We wanted to shorten up the program,” Mark Trenberth said. “We wanted to start at a later time, and hopefully, the track conditions will make for a better program. Before, it was agonizingly long.”
The raceway board put a lot of time and effort in to make such a crucial decision.
“Over the winter, when we met as a board, we came up with that idea,” Trenberth said. “There were many meetings and many different ideas. We did a lot of number crunching, and hopefully, it turns out good.”
How has the reaction been to the changes?
“Some people seem to think it’s OK, and some want two complete shows,” Ternbeth said. “Something had to change. Some of the lower classes are only running one show, but the alternative was not having those lower classes run at all.
“Now, everybody gets to be a part of the Labor Day Shootout. You can’t put out a product that needs improvement.”
The ticket price for admission will be $25 for the grandstand, with children five-and-under free.
“Due to COVID restrictions, there will be limited seating so the value of each seat goes up,” Trenberth said. “You can’t have some of that volume taken up by free customers. We’re still following protocols like six-feet apart and social distancing.
“Everybody knows the drill by now.”
The later starting time has been changed. In the past, the racing action has started at 4 p.m., and sometimes, at 3 p.m.
The 6 p.m., starting time should make for better racing.
“Afternoon racing is tough,” Trenberth said. “The track get black and slick and rubbers up. That makes for less-than-ideal racing conditions. In this way, we won’t be battling the sun as much.
“The track conditions should be better. We’ll spend less time working on the track throughout the show.”
All Trenberth needs now is perfect weather.
“I pray for good weather,” he said. “The last two months of an already shortened season, we’ve battled terrible forecasts and terrible weather. Hopefully, we get great, great weather.”